Legends of My Father
My father taught me about the stars. When I was young we would bundle up in sweatshirts on the beach at night and watch the Perseids meteor shower in August and he would fill my imagination with the legends of the sky.
He told me stories of Castor and Pollux the great twins in the constellation Gemini who watched over sailors like him. He told me how Poseidon himself turned Cassiopeia upside down for boasting that she and her daughter, Andromeda were the more beautiful than his sea nymphs.
He taught me the names of the Red Giants in the eye of Taurus and in the shoulders of Orion. He said, "Everyone thinks Orion, the great hunter, is up there chasing Taurus. But what he's really chasing are those Seven Sisters to see if one of them would marry him!" Sigh... The romance of it all caused my 11 year old heart to swoon and I loved Orion for his strength and relentless pursuit of love.
Once he told me I was one of the Seven Sisters - a Pleiadian princess with the ocean in her eyes who fell to Earth looking for adventure. And when I looked in the sky I always hoped that Orion was watching over me. Maybe one day he would fall from the sky too.
As time passed and the rigors of life took over, the legends of my father grew as foggy as my childish hope that one day Orion would find me. Until last week when I was in Chile.
More than 5000 miles south of home nestled in the Andes I looked up into the sky and Orion was looking down on me. Orion chased me all the way to South America! In that instant I was with my father and all of his stories came back to me as clear as Betelgeuse.I was overwhelmed with a sense of belonging and safety. I knew that everywhere I go, I am at home. I am a global citizen. Maybe even a cosmic citizen if I take the legends of my father to heart!
Chile suffered an intense earthquake just after our workshop was over and my heart ached for all of those who were afraid or lost loved ones. My heart aches for the war torn and tangled countries and for those around the world who are going through their own war torn and tangled moments of life.
It's the night sky that gives me hope.
Our ill equipped minds are barely able to comprehend the mathematical perfection of the Universe and how it unfolds. But our hearts understand in an instant that when we look at the stars, we are experiencing the Divine Order of things.
We are all a part of that natural perfect order. EVEN when we don't understand. If the Universe is going to make sure that the earth rotates at the precise angle, distance and rate of speed relative to the Sun to ensure the teeming beauty of life on our planet, can't we trust just a little that we are in good hands?
My father had cancer for "13 Moons" as he counted time. One night I dreamt that he and I were looking at the stars and we finally saw the elusive Iridium Flare shining it's blue flame across the sky. I turned to see if he had also seen it, and he was gone.
I woke up and drove all night to my parents beach house. When I walked in the door just before sunrise, he said, "I know you know, Natalie. It's time to go." And he pointed up. He died 72 hours later under a spring night sky and I hope by now he has finally caught up to those sisters.